Here's the good news for the Lakers. They're not mailing it in. They're still giving it the old purple and gold try.
Now the bad news for the Lakers. They're not mailing it in. Effort you can fix. Cut a guy or two. Lock stragglers in a room with Kobe Bryant. There are ways.
But old age, you can't fix.
The Thunder beat the reeling and peeling Lakers 114-108 in a game that was a rout most of Friday night before the good guys lost interest.
And here's how the Thunder did it. With fresh legs and quick hands. With springs in the step of Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant.
For all but eight minutes of this game, the Lakers put up more than a fight. They outscored OKC 37-35 through the first 151/2 minutes and outscored the Thunder 55-47 in the second half.
But those eight minutes, wow. Those eight minutes, we saw a team, with an average age of 25 for its starting lineup, blister the Golden Oldies 32-16.
“I told our guys we really have to lock in defensively,” Scotty Brooks said of that second quarter explosion. “We have to play with our hands. That's how we get run outs, deflections, steals, blocks, and go.
That second quarter we did that.”
The Thunder scored on 13 of 17 possessions during that spree, and the only way to do that in the NBA is with easy baskets.
Nick Collison rebounded a Laker miss, and four seconds later Durant dunked off an Eric Maynor pass.
Eighty-four seconds later, Westbrook stole the ball from Metta World Chaos and fed Kevin Martin for a dunk.
Six seconds after another Collison defensive rebound, Westbrook drove to a layup and foul for a three-point play.
Six seconds after Kendrick Perkins' defensive rebound, Durant swished a 3-pointer.
Martin stole the ball from Chris Duhon and whisked to a layup.